Sachin Tendulkar during his younger days    Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar during his younger days Getty Images

This day, four years ago, Sachin Tendulkar played his last Test at Wankhede Stadium, thus bringing a 24-year-journey to a halt. However, decades back, even before his Test debut, Tendulkar used to be a mischievous boy among his peers. Despite his general demeanour, however, he was famously shy with his seniors.

Former Mumbai and India pacer Suru Nayak shares his experience of rooming with Sachin. In fact, Nayak was Tendulkar s first roommate in senior cricket, against Baroda in 1987-88.

Nayak recalled: He was a very shy boy of around 15. I was the senior most member of the team and the management thought it would be good for a newcomer to share the room with a senior player. Skipper Chandrakant Pandit told me to keep a watch on the young man.

In fact, inside the room Sachin was a busy boy, imitating his shots against spinners and pacers etc. But once on the field or outside, he would go into himself. He would not speak much. He was very shy even to sign an autograph. Those days, there used to be a decent turnout for Ranji matches and people were aware of Tendulkar s reputation as a future star.

He will not come and give his opinion unless he was asked. I think his brother Ajit should be given credit for moulding his behaviour. In fact, Sachin was not so naughty but Vinod [Kambli] was an absolute riot.

Nayak also recounted his observations about Tendulkar s talent: He was special even at that age. He was a thin boy, but very observant. His power of observation was excellent. He did not play any matches that season but he was happy to bat in the nets and being part of the Mumbai team.

I was playing my penultimate season then. But Mumbai had two excellent pacers in Anoop Sabnis and Raju Kulkarni. They were quite nippy. But Sachin handled them with ease at nets. He has good time to play shots and we were sure that the boy would make it big.”